In Reply to: It's a Wonderful Life and Gandhi posted by Misha Kavka on November 5, 2000 at 09:15:21:
It is true that the world would probably be very different had
Gandhi not been assasinated, as was george Bailey's without him in it.
However, I am not so sure it would have made a difference to the
current situation in the sub-continent. It is my personal opinion
that Gandhi was nothing more than an extremely charismatic and
charming person, with exceptional leadership abilities and above
all a HUGE hunger not so much for power, but for recognition.
Hypothetically, this would mean that if he thought like the irresponsible and
fanatical BJP facist ruling party in India and the current
over-weight, empty-headed, slurring and often drunk Prime
Minister, Vajpayee - he would have done exactly the same thing
i.e. nuked the beautiful, silent and peaceful deserts of
Rajasthan. This would have brought him into public favor and
kept his name in a hall of fame, by claiming that he had secured
India's position as a world power.
What I ask now is - how can a "world power" with nuclear abilities
be unable to provide their entire population with 24 hour
electricity and water. Nevermind the millions of desperately poor,
homeless, starving and illiterate people - that are to be found
in every single nook and cranny of the country.
I am quite frankly SCARED s*** that one day, one of these
semi-literate, authoritarian, religious fanatics will decide to
press the button that nukes the USA and World War III will begin
and we will witness the end of civilization as we know it. This
fear is not unwarrented. Me and my family have personally witnessed
just how irresponsible and random Indian people can be. (for more
on this, go to - http://www.indiaabroad.com/columnists/desai/desai1.html
Going back to Gandhi, a close examination of his movements and
motives would seem to show his enormous self-involvement. For
example, in 1947 when India gained her independence and the
partition between India and Pakistan took place, Gandhi refused
to be the leader of such an "un-united India". While his reasons
may have seemed noble - perhaps at some level, he also realized
that by holding such a position, he would be better remembered
for his role as a matyr - the great MAHATMA GANDHI.
Interestingly, some historians have interpreted numerous actions
and events that took place under Jawaharlal Nehru (India's first
Prime Minister)as having been the handiwork of Gandhi. With
regard to this, it has been insinuated that Gandhi merely used
Nehru as a puppet to do his own bidding, and in this manner
managed to run the country in spite of his claims of not wanting to,
altho it may have been only for the short time he was alive.
This enabled him to retain his elevated status as Gandhiji
- "Bharat ki Pitaji".
Apart from everything else, Gandhi's whole idea of 'India should
go back to the villages' for progress to be made - would
have probably resluted in two things. First of all - India would
have an economy even more backwards and closed than it currently
is. (The indian rupee is currently a controlled currency. It
cannot be exchanged any place other than the Reserve Bank of India
for foerign currency.)
And, secondly - New York City would have been nuked with
horse manure and cow dung, when the blundering idiot of a Prime
Minister pressed the 'red button' - "baas dekhne ke leye" (Just
to see what happens)
Discalimer: I realize that a lot of the above said does not
necessarily have anythign to do with economics. However, I felt
that I had to present my slightly different perspective of Gandhi
in respect to the current, mass favored opinion that most people
hold. I feel that Gandhi was not as great a man as he has been
made out to be, and therefore does not deserve the status he often
gets, as a matyr.
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